Digital Systems

A journey through time – illuminated by modern LED technology

Is there an alternative for the modernization of historic luminaires in old city centers which preserves the charm of ancient lanterns while fitting them with high tech equipment? This was the key question for the OSRAM and Selux AG lighting manufacturers when retrofitting 100 traditional lanterns with cutting-edge LED lighting. The result is a real feast for the eyes. The complex retrofit of the suspended luminaires in Berlin's traditional districts of Neukölln and Spandau from May to October 2015 was a success story in many respects because not only was the ancient look and feel preserved: The project also fulfilled various criteria to be considered for the design of city lighting.

Project description

Saving energy with charm

The major challenge of this demanding project was to enable people in our modern era of LED lighting to experience the special character of old city center lanterns. To achieve this, the visual appearance of the ancient lanterns had to be recreated as precisely as possible in spite of the futuristic technology incorporated. The benefits of retrofitting antiquated lighting with modern LED technology are clear: Not only can the annual power consumption be reduced by more than 80 percent, but also spare parts for obsolete luminaire systems, which are difficult to obtain and very expensive, become unnecessary.


Category: Street & Urban
Subcategory: Architainment lighting
Location: Berlin, Germany
Technology/Services: Light engines and LED modules
Year: 2015

Historic design with hightech inside

The LED assembly kit specifically designed for this project by Selux brings the look of the former luminaires to perfection. The LED luminous elements resemble the original illuminants in both their arrangement and their appearance. In addition to the look it was essential to reproduce the characteristic color, brightness and rotation-symmetrical distribution of light of the ancient lanterns. These values therefore had to be precisely measured in advance. The result is a particularly warm light color which complies with all the specific parameters. Since the retrofits returned to their original sites, it had to be ensured that passers-by and residents were not blinded by luminaires installed near facades. Choosing the correct luminous flux and avoiding high lighting intensity was therefore of great importance.

Benefits in terms of lighting control and maintenance

Intelligent controllers provide for the comfortable, flexible and, above all, efficient control of the light sources. Furthermore, the long service life of LEDs as well as their low energy consumption are crucial factors in order to significantly reduce operating, maintenance and running costs. The showcase project in Berlin once again demonstrates the multiple facets and superior flexibility of modern LED technology today.

Reliable operation

The long-life OSRAM LED drivers with 2DIM functionality used in various wattages are the perfect choice for reliable operation. The high IP protection class (IP 64) of the 2DIM – OPTORONIC LED drivers, as well as the high overvoltage protection (of up to 6 kV) for protection class II with EQUI connection, were major decision criteria. In times when less lighting intensity is required, the 2DIM functionality (AstroDIM and 0 … 10 V) reduces both power consumption and energy costs.

Project Partner

Role Company
Project realiserSelux AG